Brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) is a novel cardiac hormone secreted predominantly from the ventricle. We examined the plasma levels of BNP and atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) in 13 patients with aortic stenosis undergoing corrective surgery. Preoperative plasma BNP and ANP levels correlated highly with preoperative left ventricular end-systolic wall stress (ESS) (r = 0.96, p < 0.0001 and r = 0.95, p < 0.0001, respectively). Moreover, between preoperative and late postoperative states, the difference of the plasma levels of BNP and ANP correlated with the difference of ESS. In two patients with elevated ESS and quite high preoperative plasma BNP (> 1000 pg/ml), rapid decrease of the plasma level after operation was observed. These results suggest that synthesis and secretion of BNP and ANP are stimulated by the increase of left ventricular end-systolic wall stress in patients with aortic stenosis.